Go Mobile in Marketing Your Brand

With the New Year ready to dawn, what are your marketing resolutions for 2016?

In some cases, marketers will look to apply the same tactics that worked in 2015. Others, meantime, will step outside the box and look to be a little bolder, trying some new practices to entice consumers.

No matter which camp your marketing efforts fall into; keep an open mind in 2016 and beyond, allowing your marketing initiatives to grow and not become bogged down.

New Year, New Efforts

Business man holding smart phone with media icons concept on bacFor many marketers, 2016 is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and pursue more customers with some new tricks of the trade.

Yes, while tactics like email marketing and social networking should certainly not be abandoned, where does your business stand with mobile marketing?

When you deploy mobile marketing, you stand a good chance of not only bringing on new customers, but also keeping them for some time to come.

Sure, some businesses may think that mobile marketing can’t do them much good, but when used in unison with email marketing, social media and other forms of marketing, you can position yourself as the business customers want to deal.

Mobile marketing allows you to reach out to consumers at just about any time you want, showing them why your business is tops whether it be on the best prices for home furnishings, Direct TV internet pricing, accounting services, vehicles, insurance or myriad of other products and services.

If 2016 is the year you kick-start mobile marketing with your business, keep these tidbits in mind:

  • Don’t be a nuisance – First and foremost, don’t nag current or potential customers. One way to rapidly lose customers is always trying to sell them something. Yes, you’re in the business to market products and services and ultimately get consumers to buy, but don’t be a pest. Your mobile marketing efforts should include ways to help consumers, provide them with a vehicle for feedback and more;
  • Go directly to the consumer – While many consumers have turned to online shopping in recent years, there are still countless ones who walk in and out of shops nationwide on a daily basis. By using geo-location, you can pinpoint where consumers are at any given moment. If they are nearby your business or even in it, hit them up with a subtle reminder that good deals await them. Once again, do it in a way where you don’t come off as pushing sales 24/7;
  • Review your communications – Always be on the lookout to add new content, visuals etc. to your web initiatives. If your site looks old and boring, many consumers will hit the road and never come back. This also means reviewing your site’s links and other efforts so that everything works and works in an expedient manner;
  • Work hand-in-hand with social media – Social networking is a great medium for businesses to market their products and services, yet many of them get an ‘F’ grade when it comes to social media. Tie-in your mobile marketing initiatives with a strong social media campaign. If you’re not already, become active on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. Yes, some businesses will use the old adage that they can’t get a good feel for whether or not social media works for them, therefore they bypass it. Don’t be one of those businesses that misses out on all SM has to offer.

Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers marketing topics on the web.

 

Does Your Marketing Have the Proper Diversity?

There’s a difference between marketing and marketing that’s diverse enough to reach a number of different audiences and cultures.

If your business truly wants to increase customer outreach, then diversity marketing can help.

With effective campaigning in mind, here are just a few reasons diversity marketing is important for your business:

What is Diversity Marketing?

Group of happy business people walking together on streetAlthough most major marketing campaigns are aimed at general audiences, more and more businesses are setting their sights on diverse audiences. This is where diversity marketing comes into play.

Diversity marketing targets specific audience groups or subgroups based on their gender, age, religion, profession, physical characteristics, ethnicity, sexual preference, and so on. This type of marketing gives businesses more opportunity to reach a wider audience.

As the article, “Diversity Marketing: Who’s Doing It?” looks at, more and more businesses are adopting diversity marketing and it’s increasing their customer outreach like never before.

If your business is considering creating diversity marketing campaigns, here are a few successful examples already on the market:

  • Swiffer – This household cleaning company currently has a commercial featuring a disabled father receiving a surprise Swiffer Sweeper care package.
  • Chevrolet – Chevy’s new TV spot features same-sex parents talking about their vehicles. The campaign is titled “Pave New Roads.”
  • Coca Cola – Last year, Coke’s Super Bowl commercial featured people of different ethnicities singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages.
  • Guinness – Guinness’s new marketing campaign follows the pre and post-game activities of a wheelchair league basketball team.

All of the diversity marketing examples above are helping those companies find new customers.

The question is what are some other benefits of diversity marketing for your business?

Avoiding Exclusion

Sometimes exclusivity is a good thing in marketing. Customers love exclusive deals and offers.

However, excluding customers because they aren’t represented in your marketing campaigns is never a good thing.

By taking a diversity marketing approach, your business can avoid excluding audiences of different backgrounds.

When your business includes different races, ages, genders, and so on in its marketing approaches, it opens up more opportunities to attract new audiences.

Embracing Progression

Audiences are changing every day, which means the old ways of mass marketing no longer work.

With diversity marketing, your business can actually prove to current customers and potential customers that it’s embracing progression. Not only progression in the marketing world; but progression in society as well.

Featuring multiple races, body types, religions, and sexual identities shows your customers that your brand is ahead of the times, not stuck in the past.

Subgroups Are Larger Than You Might Think

If you think mass marketing is the best way to reach audiences, think again.

Subgroups are larger than you might think and they’re growing all the time. Targeting your marketing message will result in an impressive amount of outreach.

Pretty soon, these “subgroups” will be the standard.

By adopting a diversity marketing approach now, you’ll be ahead of competition and you’ll have the following to prove it.

When it comes to truly attracting a growing audience, diversity marketing is the answer.

Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com

About the Author” Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including marketing and customer outreach.

Take a Tip from Starbucks and Be More Mobile

Reaching out to mobile customers is more important than ever.

With global information experts Nielsen finding that adults in the US spend more hours browsing the internet on smartphones than on PCs, it’s clear that reaching mobile customers is vital.

Businesses like yours can take inspiration from brands like Starbucks, who have been using mobile marketing to a great effect.

What are companies like Starbucks doing to engage the mobile audience, and what can you learn from them?

MobileKeep It Simple

One of the secrets to Starbucks’ success is their mobile payment app.

Marketing has, of course, boosted use of the app as Starbucks customers use it to pay for their daily coffee fix.

The core of its success though, is its simplicity.

Customers don’t need to do anything complicated – using the app is as simple as displaying a barcode on their phones at the point of sale. One quick scan and the coffee is in their hand.

Mobile apps like Starbucks’ are growing in popularity, with Nielsen estimating that 86% of smartphone internet time is via apps.

When offering an app to your customers, make sure it is straightforward to use and adds real value to their mobile experience.

Use Multiple Channels

As the article “What You Can Learn From Starbucks’ Mobile Marketing Strategy” points out, one of the defining characteristics of Starbucks’ SMS campaigns is their integration with social media to help their message spread. Their Frappuccino Fun campaign was boosted by using Facebook to encourage customers to opt in to their mobile mailing list, for example.

From a Pinterest full of images to get customers in the mood for a little coffee culture, to a responsive Twitter channel, Starbucks understands how to use multiple channels to build interest and loyalty.

Carefully integrating your mobile marketing with social media and email will help you to reach more customers, and give you more space to get your message across in different ways.

Make It Personal

L’Oreal made things a little more personal for their mobile customers by targeting the advertisements they saw based on their hair color.

By harnessing in-image technology, L’Oreal analyzed the people spotted in editorial photos belonging to its advertising partners such as Hollywood.com.

It then created an ad campaign that showed the customer darker or lighter versions of its hair products, based on what it thought their preference was likely to be.

Customers are far more likely to respond to adverts that are relevant to them.

Properly segmenting your target market to ensure your mobile customers will only see ads that really matter to them will increase your chances of success, and give them a reason to keep following you.

Localize Your Marketing

Ford’s SMS marketing campaign showed how localizing your mobile marketing can bring success.

Customers were asked to text their location and the vehicle they were most interested in to a short code; this was then followed by three follow up messages to non-responders.

The result was that the most local dealerships could get in touch, already primed to talk about the customer’s preferred vehicle. The campaign was a success, with Ford reporting a 15.4% conversion rate.

If you have a physical premise, try some locally targeted marketing to increase your footfall.

From time-limited promotions to adding a local theme (such as a local festival or sporting event) to your mobile promotions, honing in on local customers will help you gain their business.

Take a leaf out of these global brands’ book and give your mobile marketing an overhaul today.

Your customers are already mobile.

By paying attention to your mobile marketing you can meet them there and build a strong, loyal relationship.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including branding, inbound marketing, mobile marketing and social media.

App Developer Initiatives Can and Should Be Met

Your app developers should have all the tools and initiatives they need to make your company’s apps popular.

Even so, only 10 percent of available apps make up 90 percent of app downloads overall. App developer initiatives can and should be met, but there are obstacles in the way.

Here are a few to consider.

Greed

iO_GB_042215Yes, greed.

Greed in the form of allowing too many ads to pop up, infringe upon, and generally annoy your customers so much that they stop using your app. Ads are especially annoying on smart phones, where screen space is already at a minimum.

Of course, one or two ads are a reasonable way to add a revenue stream to your free app.

But don’t get so greedy that users hit the delete key in frustration.

Too Many Cooks

Once you’ve found yourself a good app developer, stop. Don’t keep trying to upgrade your developer pool.

Developers can be a sensitive lot, and putting too many of them in the same room together or worse – pitting them against each other in some kind of twisted “who gets there first” competition – will harbor ill will against you. That’s when funny bugs start showing up in your apps.

After all, those developers have to get back at you somehow, right?

Being a Cheapskate

Let’s face it; you need developers. Without them, you would have no apps, because your skills lie elsewhere.

Don’t minimize the skills and talent that a developer has by trying to skimp on salaries.

One common error that companies make is to offer a back end percentage of sales in lieu of any upfront compensation. Just like you can’t work for free, neither can a developer.

If you want to offer back end percentages on top of a lump sum payment, that’s a smart incentive. But never instead of.

No Infrastructure

App developers can’t work in a vacuum.

As the following article looks at, of the 6 obstacles hindering your app developers’ initiatives, offering zero support or infrastructure is one of the top.

Developers need devices to experiment on, money to spend on other apps for comparison, and let’s not forget a comfortable work environment.

Just because your developer could technically work in his unheated home garage with the light of a desk lamp doesn’t mean you should let him.

Give your developer everything you would offer your top executive team. You’ll get it back ten-fold.

App developers have become an irreplaceable part of a company’s marketing strategy.

Isn’t it about time you got on board for giving them the recognition and appreciation they deserve?

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about marketing and best business practices.

Building a Keyword Strategy

Building a Keyword Strategy

Is it more important to post content frequently? Or, to post content about the right topics?

If you are interested in those questions, I’d highly suggest taking a look at Mack Collier’s recent article on his experience.

While I do not want to steal too much thunder from his post, I will say this: it is vital for companies to create content with targeted keywords and phrases.

Below are two important steps to ensure that you can do that successfully.

Identifying the Right Keywords

The first step in identifying the right keywords involves answering the question, “What should I create content about?”

Oftentimes, we look internally for those answers. What do I want to write about? What am I passionate about? While those questions are important, we need to always consider the overall goal. Typically, that is to build an audience and to drive traffic to our website.

Thus, we must ensure that the topics that we want to create content about also match up to the interests and passions of our target audience.

At that point, we should find a way to build a list of the words and phrases that are associated to those topics. These items do not need to stored in a fancy, complex system — you could simply keep them in a document or spreadsheet! But the bottom line is, make the list! Do not rely on yourself to try to remember the words and phrases that you should use when creating content.

Promoting and Sharing the Words and Strategy

The list of keywords must certainly have a big presence within the walls of a marketing department (whether those walls are physical or virtual).

But they also should be shared among employees from all departments. Why?

Well, more and more, people from all walks of life and backgrounds are creating profiles on social networks. Perhaps they primarily use their accounts to talk about personal things. But if they occasionally interact with a customer or prospect on those channels, or if they link to your company’s website, or simply list it’s name in their Bio, they are representing your brand.

By sharing the list, you will be creating opportunities for all employees to build awareness of your company’s products and services.

Oftentimes, there may be an employee that wants to contribute to the online conversation about your business, but they are just not sure what to say. Sharing the list can be the spark that ignites more conversations about the topics that are vital to you and your audience.

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